July 29 (Reuters) - German genetic testing specialist Qiagen NV reported a 9 percent rise in second-quarter earnings, slightly above analysts’ average forecast, helped by demand for its automated diagnostics gear and for test kits co-developed with drugmakers.
Adjusted net income rose to $60.9 million in the three months through June, the company said on Tuesday. Analysts on average had estimated $59.4 million in a Reuters poll.
Quarterly adjusted sales gained 5 percent to $331.2 million.
Qiagen, which makes tests to identify patients who will benefit from certain cancer drugs, said it still expected 2014 adjusted earnings of $1.07-$1.09 per share, up from $1.02 in 2013, and currency-adjusted sales growth of 4-5 percent.
Companion diagnostic tests for use in combination with a specific drug are a key growth market segment for the German company. U.S. regulators earlier this year granted Qiagen approval for the third such test.
AstraZeneca on Monday signed up Qiagen to develop a diagnostic test using simple blood samples to identify patients who will benefit from its lung cancer pill Iressa.
In addition, the German group is banking on QIAsymphony, a machine for various uses that can purify and test up to 72 samples at a time, to become a must-have tool in academic and commercial labs, who will buy Qiagen’s disposable supplies to run them.
More than 1,000 machines, which came to market in 2009, were being used by labs in 2013 and Qiagen aims to install 250 additional machines during the course of this year. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger)